Home > Israel, S. Lewis Johnson > Reasons for Anti-Semitism: From S. Lewis Johnson

Reasons for Anti-Semitism: From S. Lewis Johnson

S. Lewis Johnson, in his Zechariah series (1967) discussed anti-Semitism, listing seven reasons why it exists:

1.  Hatred of Israel’s God
2.  Penal judgment of God:  for their rejection of Him in the 1st century.
3.  National discipline of God:  discipline that will ultimately bring them to Him
4.  Jews’ pride and self-righteousness:  a characteristic trait.
Leviticus 26:19 contains a specific prediction about the Jews’ pride:  I will break the pride of your power
5.  Gentile jealousy of Jewish excellency:   The Jews’ excellency in economics, science, art, music, finance.  Jews are better educated: three times as many Jews go to college as non-Jews.
6.  Jewish Separation:  Produces Xenophobia.  We don’t like people that are different.
Here reference Baalam’s prophecy, that they shall dwell alone.  (Numbers 23:9)
7.  Jewish political liberalism, philosophical radicalism
Yet we must consider here, that this has often been the product of anti-semitic, reactionary conservative control, especially in Russia, where they were forced into the political underground as their only hope (in the natural realm).

More detail and history lies back of these seven reasons.  For instance, number 2 — Penal judgment of God: the Christian Church (the visible one, the Roman Catholic Medieval Church) went far beyond the truth, including forced baptisms and other crimes against the Jews.  Just as the nations in Zechariah’s day punished the Jews yet went far beyond God’s intention in how they treated them, so the visible Christian church went beyond God’s intention for His discipline of them.

How should we look at Genesis 12:3, the statement to Abraham that “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.”?  This does not mean that people cannot criticize an individual Jew, for that individual Jew’s own faults, or that to do so brings judgment from God.  After all, the Bible says if you persecute anybody, if you curse anybody, you can expect divine judgment.   Genesis 12:3 is something different, that has special reference to the religious side of the promises: their future and their land.

From S. Lewis Johnson:

Now, the man who curses Israel is the man who says Israel has no future; the man who curses Israel is the man who says Israel has no covenant; the man who curses Israel is the man who says that Israel has no divine relationship to God which shall ultimately issue in a Messiah who shall die for Israel, and in the land promises ultimately fulfilled to them with the kingdom of God upon the Earth.  That is the man who is guilty of cursing the Jew.  It is the religious side of things that is referred to there. … if we ever should say that Israel has no future; that Israel has not promise; that Israel has not land; that Israel has nothing, we will drive them into the sea as the Assyrians and Egyptians are saying today, and they will not exist as a nation:  then we are guilty of transgressing the promise of Genesis 12.  And down through the years the nations that have done that have discovered the judgment of God.  The Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the ancient Romans, the Germans, the Spanish and right down to the present day and they shall.

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